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People visiting Microsoft's new store in Scottsdale, Ariz., have started noticing something interesting, apart from its shameless similarities to Apple's retail outlets. The computers on display in the Microsoft Store come without any run-of-the-mill "crapware" -- the derisive term used for generic trial software and other unwanted programs that commonly clog new PCs when they're shipped by computer makers.
Under a new initiative called "Microsoft Signature PCs," the company has removed those programs from the computers it's selling and loaded them instead with full versions of its own Windows Live software and services, plus programs such as Silverlight, the Zune software, and Adobe's widely used online technologies.
It's an interesting move by Microsoft on multiple levels.